10 Best Things To Do In Waiheke Island, New Zealand - Updated 2024

| 5 min read

A mere 35-minute ferry from Auckland takes you to a world of bays, beaches, and classic wine boutiques. Waiheke Island, in New Zealand, gifts its visitors with the chance to explore its art, amazing food with house wines, or to be indulged in its various adventure activities. This island is not only a heaven for foodies or art lovers, but it is also a place where New Zealand-based multi-millionaires build their holiday nests. From hotels to Airbnb vacation rentals in Waiheke Island, there are plenty of amazing accommodation options as well.

A laid-back, bohemian vibe hits visitors as soon as they step onto this island. A pleasant summer and comparatively warm winter make the island viable to visit, all through the year. Moreover, this island promises a laid-back, yet adventurous holiday.

1. A glimpse of history in Waiheke Island Historical Village

Museum of Waiheke
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user LittleT889 used under CC BY-SA 4.0

The Waiheke Island Historical Village provides an excellent view of the past and is an initiative of the Waiheke Island Historical Society. This museum is based on a model of a traditional village and consists of five main buildings. The reconstructed woolshed building has a major collection of historical exhibits and a walk through the museum will give you a glimpse of the period rooms, meeting rooms along with the photo gallery and archives.

Maori artifacts like a player piano, a wool press and a whale-oil cauldron are kept here, along with a replica of the ancient toilets used by this tribe. The other three buildings are examples of three small bach-style houses which are called the Champion, Keane and Goodwin cottages. The original Waiheke jail is still kept intact, here, along with an old telephone exchange, in working condition.

The village is located at 169 Onetangi Road, near the Waiheke Golf Club and entry is by donation.

Waiheke Island Historical Village

Address: 165 Onetangi Straight, Waiheke Island

Timings: 12 pm to 4 pm.

Website: Waiheke Island Historical Village Official Website

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2. Enjoy the sea and sun at Little Oneroa Beach

Little Oneroa Beach, Waiheke Island
Source: Photo by Flickr user brent simpson used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Oneroa Beach is a crescent-shaped beach, located in the northern part Oneroa town. Little Oneroa Beach is at the east end of the main beach and is calm, quiet and secluded, giving a feeling of pure pleasure. Lying on this beach, you can simply enjoy the view overlooking Oneroa Bay or have a swim in the ocean. This beach is accessible from the bus stop on Ocean View Road.

Little Oneroa Beach

Address: Oceanview Road, Little Oneroa, Waiheke Island, Auckland

Website: Oneroa Official Website

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3. A musical journey through the Whittaker's Musical Museum

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

If you are a music lover, don’t miss a unique tour of Whittaker’s Musical Museum. The museum is famous for its amazing collection of musical instruments and if you are lucky, you can get to hear them play. Normally, the instruments are played on school holidays, for children, during a 90-minute live show but the museum also arranges concerts during other specific dates, where the instruments are played by specific musicians. The museum is located in Oneroa and is a 15-minute walk from Matiatia.

The Whittaker's Musical Museum

Address: 2 Korora Rd, Oneroa, Auckland 1081, New Zealand

Timings: 1 pm to 4 pm.

Website: Whittaker’s Musical Museum Official Website

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4. Start your weekend on this island - Visit the Ostend Market

Chatuchak Weekend Market
Source: Photo by Flickr user phuongkim1981 used under CC BY 2.0

Every Saturday, the Ostend Market unfolds to showcase its wide variety of colorful things. Find a selection of clothing, artifacts, and toys, in a variety of shapes and sizes. If you are looking for cheaper options, you can also pick up second-hand items.

This market is also heaven for foodies. From pizzas, burgers and samosas to locally made breads—all types of mouthwatering foods are available, here. This market is also a favorite hangout place for locals and as a place to spend quality time with friends or to grab some candyfloss, popcorn or coffee.

This weekend market takes place in the Ostend War Memorial Hall and Reserve, located on Ostend Road.

Ostend Market

Address: Ostend War Memorial Hall and Reserve, 76 Ostend Road, Waiheke Island

Timings: Every Saturday 7:30 am- 1 pm

Website: Official Website of New Zealand Markets

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5. Connells Bay Sculpture Park for the art lovers

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

An excellent collection of contemporary sculptures are featured among nature, at Connells Bay Sculpture Park. Apart from the 30 permanent works by eminent sculptors of New Zealand, some works are also featured here, on a temporary basis. The excellent combination of nature, which complements the artwork, is the main attraction of this place.

The park provides a guided tour to visitors, on request. You can also stay over in a historic seaside cottage, located here.

Connells Bay Sculpture Park

Address: Cowes Bay Rd, Connells Bay, Waiheke Island 1971, New Zealand

Website: Official Website of Connells Bay

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6. A day trip to Wild on Waiheke

Wild On Waiheke
Source: Photo by Flickr user ActiveSteve used under CC BY-ND 2.0

A trip to the Wild Estate Vineyard and the Waiheke Island Brewery gives you the chance to see and to taste the rich flavors of the Waiheke lifestyle. Try the beer and wine tasting, or indulge in the outdoor adventure activities, like wild tag, archery or laser clay bird shooting. The restaurant is also good for tasting the local cuisine, with an excellent view of the vineyards.

Wild on Waiheke is located on Onetangi Road, on Waiheke Island. It is open five days a week, except for Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Wild on Waiheke

Address: 82 Onetangi Rd, Waiheke Island, Auckland 1971, New Zealand

Website: Official Website of Wild on Waiheke

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7. Hiking through Whakanewha Regional Park

Te Waka
Source: Photo by Flickr user brent simpson used under CC BY-SA 2.0

There are lots of hiking trails around Waiheke Island and the trail through the coastal forest, in Whakanewha Regional Park, is located in the southern part of the island. This hike is a paradise for nature and bird lovers and it gives a chance to spot various kinds of birds like the tui, fantail, kereru, gray warbler and silver eye. At the end of the hike, find the secluded beach to relax and unwind. This national park is found on Gordons Road and is accessible from various parts of the island by ferry or shuttle.

Whakanewha Regional Park

Address: Waiheke Island, Auckland 1971, New Zealand

Website: Tourism Site of Waiheke Island

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8. Wining and dining have another definition on this island (from USD 169.0)

Waiheke Island
Source: Photo by user Brian Lamb used under CC BY 2.0

This island is famous for its local wineries and its native vineyards produce the finest wines in the region. These wines also complement the array of local mouth watering foods. If you are set to explore the excellent flavors of the local food and wine, you can try a full-day food and wine tour. Take a sip of the native wines in these boutique vineyards, along with the vineyard lunch platter.

Apart from wines, the island is also famous for its olive oils and this trip will give you a chance to explore the flavor of prized local olive oils, along with Waiheke oysters and artisan cheese. A trained guide will pick you from your accommodation and stay with you throughout the tour.

The total duration of this day trip is 5.5 hours.

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Waiheke Island Gourmet Food and Wine Tour

Duration: 5 hours 30 minutes

245 reviews

9. Zip lining adventure for the adventure junkies (from USD 86.0)

A zip lining tour over the island will give you an aerial view of the surrounding vineyards and the bay area, including the Hauraki Gulf. One of the best places to take in a zip lining adventure is Trig Hill. The total experience takes around 25 minutes and you can zip line through the vineyards, the forest areas and the bay of Waiheke Island.

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Waiheke Island: Zipline And Forest Walk

Duration: 3 hours

212 reviews

10. Waiheke Island day tour with lunch (from USD 106.0)

things to do in waiheke island nz | waiheke island day tour with lunch
Source: Experience OZ

Waiheke Island offers many activities including this wine and olive tasting tour. Get ready to please your taste buds and eyesight as you delight in high-quality locally produced foods and guided tours of three vineyards namely: Stonyridge, Wild on Waiheke and Mudbrick. Each of these vineyards has its own charm so the tour will not feel redundant. Another one of the highlights is to get a taste of wines, beers, and olives against the beautiful background of Waiheke Island. Light lunch is also included and after the tour, you’ll have free time to explore other sceneries and perhaps stay behind for dinner before boarding the ferry back to Auckland.

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Waiheke Island Day Tour with Lunch

Duration: 5 hours 30 minutes

The island of trickling water

According to ancient Māori culture, this island used to be called Motu-Wai-Heke, which is defined as an island of trickling water. This island is an amazing blend of modern and traditional laidback lifestyle. Zip line, cycle or just walk around the island and you will get the relaxed feeling of being close to nature.

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Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
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Saptami's primary life mission revolves around the exploration of the uncharted. Following the completion of her MBA, she steered clear of the conventional 9-to-5 career path, prioritizing the...Read more

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